By Jarrett Potts, director of strategic marketing for STORServer
In 2012, we saw the rise of cloud and all things virtual and the fall of budgets. While the latter is of no surprise as all businesses, corporations, and individuals are tightening their belts just to survive, the first two have been brewing for some time and seem to have gained some serious traction in 2012.
In 2012, we saw everything from service desks to storage head to the cloud. The marketing people really did their jobs because the industry is abuzz with everything cloud. While the concept of the cloud is not really new, the concept that anyone can have a cloud is. In 2013, you will start to see some real adoption by the marketplace. By that I mean small to medium-sized customers (not just the big boys) will embrace it. The thing about cloud is that it has been hard for people and consumers to understand the concept of a cloud offering. That has changed as 2012 comes to a close. I have started to see cloud be offered as a pool of items where sales people say they can do it locally or in the cloud as if it were something tangible. Why will cloud gain traction in 2013? Simply put: simplicity. The easier to explain, use and manage, the more adoption you will see. With the advances that were made this year, 2013 should be a banner year for cloud offerings.
All things virtual
It seems that anything can be virtual. You can have virtual nodes, servers, employees and even virtual storage. What does all that really mean? Simply put, it means masking the complexity of the physical IT infrastructure and serving up a customized view. For example, virtual tape libraries (VTL) look like tape but are actually disk. As far as the applications that are sending data to the VTL are concerned, they are tape. Again, in 2012, the market made some great strides in many virtual technologies. In 2013, you will see those strides turn into real life as people start using the virtual technology. VMware and HyperV have made strides that make the average business want to use them. Hardware and software providers have accounted for all of the virtual technologies and have made them easier to manage, thus in 2013 you will see an uptick in the adoption of all things virtual.
It does not take a rocket scientist to see that people and business are just not spending the way they used to. Why do I even bring this up? In 2013, it will continue to be a leading purchase influencer. Your solution may be the greatest in the market, but if the price does not match up with their ever-shrinking budgets, then there will be no sale. What does that mean to you? Not only does your solution need to be easy to use and manage, but the price has to come down. In 2013, you will not see a huge lift in pricing and more decisions on return on investment and total cost of ownership. Companies must see the value, not just be told about it. You will have to prove you ROI, not just speak in generalities.
Cloud and virtual technologies will become more mainstream in 2013 as customers see the ease of use and value of not having the device or offering be a locally run item. The cloud market has matured enough that it has made its way into every part of life. People are more comfortable with it. They are also more inclined to use virtual technologies as the price has dropped and the feature/function set has matched their demands.
By Jarrett Potts, director of strategic marketing for STORServer, a leading provider of proven data backup solutions for the mid-market. Before joining the STORServer team, Potts spent the past 15 years working in various capacities for IBM, including Tivoli Storage Manager marketing and technical sales. He has been the evangelist for the TSM family of products since 2000. www.storserver.com